Mormons are at the center of the national conversation about religion in large part because of the Republican presidential primary campaign. Mitt Romney, a lifelong Mormon, is a top contender for the GOP nomination, but evangelical Christian concerns about Mormonism may impede his prospects and could recast this “Mormon moment” in American culture.
That “moment” is seen as a turning point for a religious community that has faced serious discrimination and opposition throughout its history.
In addition to Romney, GOP presidential candidate Jon M. Hunstman Jr. is a Mormon, as is Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader. Glenn Beck, the cable television commentator, is a convert to Mormonism.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the formal name for the Mormon church – is also a cultural touchstone of sorts: The hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon took home nine Tony awards in June, the HBO series Big Love ended this year after five seasons of critical acclaim, and Stephenie Meyer, author of the hugely popular Twilight series of vampire stories, is a Mormon housewife-turned-novelist who says her faith influences her writing.
A survey of Mormons by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, released Jan. 12, 2012, provides a unique window into the views, attitudes and religious practices of Mormons themselves.
An earlier Pew survey of American attitudes about Mormons, from November 2011, found that doubts about Mormons remain strong among some communities, in particular white evangelical Christians, a group that is key to the electoral hopes of any Republican candidate.
The prevalence of those views came to the fore in October 2011 when Robert Jeffress, leader at First Baptist Church of Dallas, told reporters at the annual Values Voter Summit that “Mormonism is a cult” and that Romney “is not a Christian.”
Jeffress’ comments came minutes after he introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the conservative Christian forum. The defenses and denunciations of Jeffress’ remarks about Mormonism have continued to roil the political waters.
This edition of ReligionLink provides resources for reporters covering the increasing prominence of Mormons in American life.
Coverage and reactions
- Read the New York Times’ account Friday of Jeffress’ introduction of Perry at the summit and the pastor’s comments afterward about Mormonism.
- Romney did not directly respond at the summit to Jeffress’ remarks, other than to say that religious differences shouldn’t divide Republicans and that civility is needed in political discourse.
- Perry said Friday that he did not agree that Mormonism is a cult; on Saturday, he declined to discuss the matter further or to denounce Jeffress’ statement.
- Most of the other GOP rivals distanced themselves on the Sunday talk shows from the controversy, saying that Romney’s faith should not be a campaign topic.
- Huntsman, the other Mormon in the GOP contest, called the negative attention toward his church “the most ridiculous sideshow in recent politics.”
- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, whose organization hosted the Values Voter Summit, called Jeffress’ use of the word cult “unfortunate” and said the Dallas pastor’s remarks on Mormonism came during a “sidebar conversation” with reporters. The summit’s purpose is not to discuss theological matters, but rather to unite faith-based voters, Perkins said.
- Radio host and former Reagan administration official Bill Bennett publicly scolded Jeffress at the summit, telling the crowd, “Do not give voice to bigotry.” Jeffress later defended his statements and disputed the bigotry characterization.
- Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, penned a column for CNN’s Belief blog titled “My Take: This evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a cult.”
- What effect, if any, the controversy might have on Perry’s campaign is already becoming a source of some speculation. “Rick Perry seems to be having his Rev. Jeremiah Wright moment,” wrote a Christian Science Monitor reporter on Saturday.
- Four days after Jeffress’ comments, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Romney while offering a sharp rebuke to the pastor and to Perry. “These type of religious matters have nothing to do with the quality of somebody’s ability to lead,” Christie said. “Any campaign that associates itself with that type of conduct is beneath the office of President of the United States.”
Other recent articles
- Read “Why Do Southerners Call Mormonism a Cult? A brief history of anti-Mormonism,” an Oct. 10, 2011, interview at Religion Dispatches with Patrick Q. Mason (contact information below in West regional sources), a leading scholarly expert on anti-Mormonism.
- Read an Oct. 3, 2011, column by Michael Gerson in The Washington Post, “Who’s afraid of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism?” The piece, in which Gerson says that “A portion of conservative Christianity is unhinged in its condemnation, regarding Mormonism as a dangerous, secretive cult,” ran several days before pastor Robert Jeffress’ recent comments about the LDS church.
- Read “Understanding Jon Huntsman’s distinct brand of Mormonism,” a June 21, 2011, story at CNN’s Belief Blog.
- In a June 9, 2011, interview at Patheos, evangelical Warren Cole Smith answered the many critics of an earlier column he wrote explaining why he and other evangelicals should not support a Mormon candidate. A blog post at The Salt Lake Tribune parses the original column and provides links to alternate views.
- Read a post from Time‘s Swampland blog, titled “Huntsman Makes His Pitch to Social Conservatives,” about Huntsman’s June 2011 speech to the Faith and Freedom Conference.
- Watch video on C-Span of Romney’s remarks to the conference.
- Read “America’s first Mormon president?” a June 2, 2011, article in The Guardian of London on enduring prejudices against Mormons.
- Read “A religious ‘test’ for Mitt Romney,” a June 1, 2011, piece by Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten on the hurdles a Mormon candidate faces.
- Read a May 12, 2011, Time magazine profile of Huntsman in which he says his Mormonism is “tough to define,” a comment that generated some controversy.
- On ABC’s Good Morning America show on May 20, 2011, Huntsman clarified his comments, saying that he is a “good Christian” and “very proud” of his Mormon heritage and that he doesn’t think his religion will be a campaign issue.
- “The 2012 Race: A Tale of Two Mormons,” is a May 11, 2011, column in The Daily Beast by Michael Medved arguing that Huntsman will not face nearly the scrutiny that Romney did in his 2008 presidential bid because Mormons are seen as mainstream.
- Read a Feb. 7, 2011, story in The Washington Post, “High-profile Mormons in media, politics advance understanding of church.”
- Read about the LDS billboard ad in Times Square on CNN’s Belief blog and in The Salt Lake Tribune.
- Read a June 15, 2011, blog post at The Economist magazine on Mormons, titled “They’re here, they’re square, get used to it!”
- See a June 10, 2011, post at the Houston Chronicle‘s Sacred Duty blog, “Are all Mormons White and Prosperous?”
- Read “Mormons Rock!,” the cover story in the June 5, 2011, edition of Newsweek, which includes several other stories about Mormons. The main article was written by Walter Kirn, who grew up Mormon.
- A June 7, 2011, post at the Following Faith blog of The Salt Lake Tribune asks whether “all this national attention [is] good for Mormons?”
- The Broadway musical The Book of Mormon earned 14 Tony award nominations, close to a record, and won nine at the June 12, 2011, awards ceremony.
- Read “LDS Church Responds to South Park Mormon Musical,” a Feb. 8, 2011, column in Religion Dispatches by Joanna Brooks, a religion scholar and writer who grew up in a conservative Mormon home. The LDS church has taken a low-key, media-savvy approach to the often scathing satire, Brooks writes.
- The HBO series Big Love, about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon family that practices polygamy — a practice disavowed by the LDS in 1890 — ended in March. But Sister Wives, a TLC reality show about a polygamist Mormon family, started its second season in March.
- Read “Is this really a ‘Mormon moment’?” a May 9, 2011, post at the On Faith blog at The Washington Post by Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the LDS church and a regular On Faith contributor.
- Read “Coffee Cups in Hell,” a March 26, 2011, New York Times column by Maureen Down on “the Mormon moment.”
- Read “Mormons Catch A Glimpse Of Life In The Big Leagues,” a September 2010 Religion News Service story posted by The Huffington Post.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the faster-growing religions in the world. It claims about 13 million members worldwide and 5.6 million in the United States.
There are 15 LDS members in the current Congress. That is about 2.8 percent of the House and Senate, a slightly larger representation than their estimated 1.7 percent share of the overall U.S. population, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Mormons say they are Christian because they believe in Jesus Christ and consider the Bible Holy Scripture. However, many Christian groups say they do not accept Mormons as Christian because of their beliefs on the nature of God, salvation and scripture. (Mormons revere three other scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, some of whose teachings differ from the Bible.)
Evangelicals – a large and important constituency in the GOP – in particular often reject Mormon theology as un-Christian. But political observers say Mormons and evangelicals also share concerns that could unite them politically – both groups oppose abortion, physician-assisted suicide, same-sex marriage and gay rights, and both generally support “traditional” marriage. Likewise, Roman Catholic beliefs do not accord with Mormon doctrine, and Catholics make up 27 percent of the American electorate. Still, traditional Catholics’ views on some social issues also accord with Mormons’.
- See the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The site includes statements on the church’s political neutrality, religious values in the public square and the Mormon ethic of civility.
- Read the statements of five Christian denominations on Mormonism (scroll down the page) as posted on the website of the Institute for Religious Research. See also “Mitt Romney’s Mormonism,” another post on the site.
- The British Broadcasting Corp. maintains a comprehensive website on Mormon history and theology.
- The 13th annual Mormon Apologetics Conference, sponsored by the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR), took place in August in Sandy, Utah. It featured more than a dozen presentations by top experts in Mormonism and focused on a range of issues facing the LDS, including the presidential campaigns, immigration controversies and debates about plural marriage. Contact Scott Gordon at 530-356-2070, email@example.com, or Craig L. Foster at 801-773-4620, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read the forum “Is Mormonism Christian?” which features essays in the October 2008 edition of First Things that take different views on the question. The first essay is by Bruce Porter, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the other is by Gerald R. McDermott, religion professor at Roanoke College and author, with Robert Millet, of Claiming Christ: A Mormon-Evangelical Debate.
- Read a Feb. 19, 2008, Boston Globe story about colleges adding classes about Mormonism, in part in response to Mitt Romney’s presidential run.
WHAT MORMONS BELIEVE
Mormon theology differs significantly from traditional Christian theology:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posts a Web page on its beliefs and doctrines.
- Beliefnet.com maintains a page explaining these differences between Mormon and traditional Christian beliefs.
- The Religious Tolerance website maintains a history of the conflict between Mormons and traditional Christians.
- Read the Jan. 12, 2012 survey, Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
- Read the Nov. 23, 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The poll finds that white evangelical Protestants — a key element of the GOP electoral base — are more inclined than the public as a whole to view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith. And this view negatively affects their views about Mitt Romney.
- Read a June 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center showing that 25 percent of Americans, and 34 percent of white evangelicals, would be less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president.
- A June 3, 2011, post at Christianity Today‘s politics blog analyzes the Pew findings.
- See a June 20, 2011, Gallup poll showing that 22 percent of voters would not support a candidate if their preferred party nominated a Mormon for president. About 20 percent of Republicans voiced such opposition, and 27 percent of Democrats.
- LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, on Oct. 8, 2011, released results of a poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors taken a year earlier and found that three-quarters disagreed with the statement: “I personally consider Mormons to be Christians.”
- Read a Pew Forum analysis (updated in February 2011) titled “Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress.” It finds that Mormons are better-represented in Congress than they are in the U.S. population.
- Read a July 24, 2009, analysis, “A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S.,” by the Pew Forum. The report, based on data from Pew’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, shows that “as a group Mormons are among the most devout and conservative religious people in the country.” But the report also shows that Mormons are “internally diverse, with differences according to levels of religious commitment and educational attainment, regions of the country where Mormons live, and between lifelong Mormons and those who have converted to the faith.”
- Read a December 2007 Pew Forum report on how the public perceives Mitt Romney and other Mormons.
- Read a roundup of how Mormon candidates and legislators fared in the 2008 election from the website By Common Consent.
- Read a New York Times article about Mitt Romney’s Dec. 6, 2007, speech on religion in America. Read the text of the speech, posted by theBostonChannel.com.
- Read a Dec. 1, 2006, USA Today story about the growing clout of Mormons in politics.
- Scott Gordon is president of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, an organization that defends Mormon theology, in Redding, Calif. Contact 530-225-4645, email@example.com.
- Kent P. Jackson is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He wrote an article titled “Are Mormons Christians? Presbyterians, Mormons and the Question of Religious Definitions” for the 2000 edition of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. Contact 801-422-3139, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Robert Millet is a professor of ancient scriptures at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He helped organize a 2004 gathering of evangelicals and Mormons in Salt Lake City that included Richard Mouw and Ravi Zacharias and has frequently engaged in Mormon-evangelical dialogue. Contact 801-422-7042, email@example.com.
- Michael Otterson is head of public relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. He can discuss the church and its stand on politics and government matters, including backgrounders. Contact 801-450-8911, OttersonMR@ldschurch.org.
- Francis J. Beckwith teaches a course on politics and religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he is also associate editor of the Journal of Church and State. He is co-editor of The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement, a book of essays by evangelical scholars about Mormon growth. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Craig L. Blomberg contributed an essay titled “Is Mormonism Christian?” to the book The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement. He is a professor of New Testament at the Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colo. Contact through the seminary’s public relations office, 303-762-6884.
- Richard L. Bushman is the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies, an endowed chair at Claremont Graduate University in California, and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. A prominent scholar of Mormonism, he has given talks on the relationship between Mormonism and American politics. Contact 909-621-8085, Richard.Bushman@cgu.edu.
- David Campbell is an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and an LDS member. He edited A Matter of Faith: Religion in the 2004 Presidential Election and is co-author (with Robert Putnam) of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (2010). Contact 574-631-7809, Dave_Campbell@nd.edu.
- Damon M. Cann, an assistant professor of political science at Utah State University in Logan, conducted a 2008 study titled “Religious Identification and Legislative Voting: The Mormon Case,” in which he concludes that Mormon representatives are no more unified in their voting behavior than any randomly selected set of legislators. Contact 435-797-8705, email@example.com.
- Noah Feldman is a professor at Harvard Law School whose specialties include the relationship between law and religion. He gave the keynote address, “Persecution and the Art of Secrecy: An Interpretation of the Mormon Encounter with American Politics,” at a 2007 conference on Mormonism and American politics. Contact 617-495-9140, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kathleen Flake is a lawyer and associate professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt Divinity School at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. She is the author of The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle. Contact 615-343-3978, email@example.com.
- Terryl L. Givens is a professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. He is the author of several books on Latter-day Saints, including The Latter-day Saint Experience in America. Contact 804-289-8303, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sarah Barringer Gordon is the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches in the areas of church and state and American religious and constitutional history. She is the author of The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America and The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America (2010). She also wrote In-laws and Outlaws, a book-length study of the social history of prosecutions of polygamists in territorial Utah. Contact 215-898-3069, email@example.com.
- Greg Johnson is a founder of Standing Together, a Utah-based group that promotes evangelical-Mormon dialogue and understanding. He has previously said a Romney candidacy would cause great concern among evangelicals, many of whom think of Mormons as a non-Christian cult. Contact 801-474-1363, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Geoffrey Layman is an associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland in College Park. He wrote The Great Divide: Religious and Cultural Conflict in American Party Politics. Contact 301-405-9709, email@example.com.
- Carl Mosser is a co-editor of The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement. He is an assistant professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pa. Contact 610-341-5850, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Richard Mouw is president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. In November 2004 he participated in a joint celebration between Mormons and evangelicals in Salt Lake City in which he apologized to members of the LDS church for “bearing false witness” against them in characterizing their beliefs. His comments generated criticism from other evangelicals. Contact 626-584-5201, email@example.com.
- R. Philip Roberts is president of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and the author of Mormonism Unmasked: Confronting the Contradictions Between Mormon Beliefs and True Christianity. Contact 816-414-3701, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jan Shipps, professor emeritus of religious studies and history at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is a well-known non-Mormon scholar on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She addressed the topic “How Mormons Became Republican” at a 2007 conference on Mormons in politics. Her books include Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition and Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons. Contact 812-336-8244 or 812-325-1580, email@example.com.
- Corwin Smidt is executive director of the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics and a professor of political science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is author, editor or co-author of numerous books on religion and public life, including In God We Trust? Religion and American Political Life. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rodney Stark is the author of The Rise of Mormonism, a collection of essays. He is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Contact 254-710-7220, email@example.com.
- Lane Williams teaches communications at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is a former reporter and has conducted research into media coverage of the LDS (he is a Mormon) and Romney’s candidacy. Contact 208-496-2964, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Alan Wolfe is director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College and a frequent commentator on religion and politics. Contact 617-552-1862, email@example.com.
- Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner and principal co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. He has said Americans increasingly vote as they pray, or don’t pray. Contact via Patricia Jackson in publicity at Regnery Publishing, 202-216-0600.
- John C. Green is director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron in Ohio and senior fellow in religion and politics at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Contact 330-972-5182, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mike Murphy is a Republican political consultant with Navigators Global who has advised candidates, including John McCain, Jeb Bush, former Michigan Gov. John Engler and Romney. In February 2006, Murphy stepped away from Romney’s campaign. Contact 202-315-5100.
- Amy Sullivan is a contributing writer at Time magazine. She wrote a September 2005 article (for The Washington Monthly, where she was an editor at the time) in which she described Romney’s Mormonism as a problem for evangelical voters. Contact email@example.com.
- Trent Wisecup is the former director of Romney’s Massachusetts political action committee. He is a principal at Navigators Global. Contact 202-315-5100.
Fifteen LDS members serve in the 112th Congress — six senators and nine representatives — up from 14 in the previous Congress. (The total includes Eni Faleomavaega, a Democrat, who represents American Samoa and is a nonvoting member.) Senators are listed below; U.S. representatives are listed under regional sources.
- U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is a member of the LDS church. Contact via Susan Wheeler, communications director, 202-224-5150.
- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is a member of the LDS church who has run for president. In the 2000 presidential primaries, he encountered anti-Mormon sentiment in the Midwest and ultimately withdrew from the race. Contact 202-224-5251.
- U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., was appointed to the Senate in May 2011 to fill the vacancy left by Sen. John Ensign’s resignation. Heller previously represented Nevada’s 2nd District in the U.S. House, and before that, he served many years in state government. Contact 202-224-6244.
- U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is a member of the LDS church. Contact 202-224-5444.
- U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is U.S. Senate majority leader. Contact 202-224-9521.
- U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat, was elected to represent New Mexico in the Senate in 2008 after serving five terms in the U.S. House. He also had served as the state’s attorney general. Contact 202-224-6621.
- The United Methodist Church has published guidelines for accepting members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that outline some of the key theological differences between the two groups. Contact Diane Degnan, director of public relations, at 615-742-5406, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Salt Lake City Diocese says at least 120,000 of Utah’s 2.4 million residents are Catholic. Contact Shirley Mares, 801-328-8641 ext. 304, Shirley.email@example.com.
- R. Philip Roberts is president of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. He is the author of the Southern Baptist Convention’s statement on Mormonism and Mormonism Unmasked: Confronting the Contradictions Between Mormon Beliefs and True Christianity. Contact 816-414-3701, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- John Ankerberg is president of the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute in Chattanooga, Tenn. He has a daily radio and television show. An FAQ on his website asks whether Mormons and Christians believe the same thing. His conclusion is they do not. Contact 423-892-7722.
- Roberta Combs is president of the Christian Coalition, a political action organization that describes itself as “pro-family.” According to news releases on its website, the coalition has several times agreed with statements made by Mitt Romney. Contact Michele Combs in the press office, 202-479-6900, email@example.com.
- Ed Decker is president of Saints Alive in Jesus, an evangelical Christian mission to Mormons, Freemasons and other groups the mission considers cults. He is a former Mormon and co-author of The God Makers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fritz Ridenour is the author of So What’s the Difference, in which he compares Christianity to other world religions, including Mormonism. The book is endorsed by Focus on the Family and declares that Mormonism is not compatible with Christianity. Ridenour lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. Contact via Gospel Light publicity manager Marlene Baer, 800-235-3415 ext. 1256.
- James R. Spencer is a minister and author of seven books on cults, the occult and secularism. He wrote an article about Mormonism and Christianity for the Assemblies of God magazine, Today’s Pentecostal Evangel. He runs the website Maze Ministry. He lives in Boise, Idaho. Leave a message at 800-871-7120.
- Walton Brown-Foster teaches a course on religion and politics at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. Contact 860-832-2961, email@example.com.
- Mark Silk is the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He spoke at a 2007 conference on Mormonism in politics. Contact 860-297-2352, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a professor of early American history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Contact 617-496-9548, email@example.com.
- Bob Bennett is a former U.S. senator from Utah, as was his father, and is a member of the LDS church. Bennett is now chairman of the Bennett Consulting Group in Washington, D.C. Contact 202-292-4860.
- Louis Bolce teaches a course on religion and politics at Baruch College in New York City. With Gerald De Maio, also of Baruch College, he has written that the clearest indicator of voting patterns is religious affiliation. Contact 646-312-4416, Louis_Bolce@baruch.cuny.edu.
- The Rev. Patrick Lynch teaches a course on religion and politics at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. He is a Jesuit priest. Contact 716-888-2831, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- C. Brid Nicholson is an assistant professor of American history at Kean University in New Jersey who has studied Mormonism. Contact 908-737-0259, email@example.com.
- Hiroshi Obayashi is professor emeritus of Christian theology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where he taught a course on religion and politics. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Richard Ostling is a former senior correspondent for Time magazine and religion writer for The Associated Press. Ostling co-authored the book Mormon America: The Power and the Promise and is an expert on the history of Mormonism and how the religion might influence the policies of a Mormon president. Contact through publicist Suzanne Wickham, 818-389-4512, email@example.com.
- Ron Cappelli runs Accent on Mormon Beliefs in Richmond, Va. He says the question shouldn’t be about Romney – or any candidate’s – religion, but rather about his morality. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ferrel Guillory is director of the Program on Public Life at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Contact 919-962-5936, email@example.com.
- James Guth is a professor of political science at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., with expertise in religion and politics. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- J. David Woodard is a professor of political science at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., and author of The New Southern Politics. Contact 864-656-3233.
- Robert B. Stewart is an associate professor of philosophy and theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has provided an evangelical critique of Mormonism at several conferences. Contact 504-282-4455 ext. 8017, email@example.com.
- Charles Reagan Wilson is director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Contact 662-915-5993, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Douglas Firth Anderson is a professor of history at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Contact 712-707-7000, email@example.com.
- John-Charles Duffy is a visiting assistant professor in the department of comparative religion at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. From 2001-04, he helped coordinate a series of brown bag discussions on Mormon studies at the University of Utah. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Laurie M. Johnson teaches a course on religion and politics at Kansas State University. Contact 785-532-0441, email@example.com.
- Paul Djupe teaches a course on religion and politics at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Steve Pike is director of U.S. missions for the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo. Previously, he was director of church planting and development for the Rocky Mountain District of the Assemblies of God and served 10 years as a church planter and pastor in Utah, where he co-founded Project Exodus, a ministry aimed at “freeing victims of false-faith groups in America.” Contact 417-862-2781 ext. 3252.
- U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican, represents Utah’s 1st District and is a Mormon. He is a former high school teacher of American history and government who served 16 years in the state legislature. Contact 202-225-0453 (D.C.) or 801-625-0107 (Utah).
- U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican, was elected in 2008 to represent Utah’s 3rd District in Congress. He is a member of the LDS church. Contact 202-225-7751 (D.C.) or 801-851-2500 (Utah).
- U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican, represents Arizona’s 6th District and is a member of the LDS church. Contact 202-225-2635 (Washington, D.C.) or 480-833-0092 (Mesa, Ariz.).
- U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat, was re-elected in 2008 to his fifth term representing Utah’s 2nd District. He also belongs to the LDS church. Contact 202-225-3011 (D.C.) or 801-486-1236 (Utah).
- David Knowlton is a professor in the behavioral science department at Utah Valley University in Orem. His specialties include the anthropology of Mormonism. Contact 801-863-6196, email@example.com.
- Stephen E. Robinson is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is the co-author of How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation. Contact 801-422-5109, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jerald and Sandra Tanner are the founders of Utah Lighthouse Ministry, which seeks to bring the Christian message to members of the LDS church, in Salt Lake City. Both were raised in the LDS church. Contact 801-485-8894.
- U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, a Republican, represents California’s 2nd District and is an LDS church member. Contact 202-225-3076 (Washington, D.C.) or 530-893-8363 (California).
- U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican, represents Idaho’s 1st District and is an LDS church member. Contact 202-225-6611 (Washington, D.C.) or 208-667-0127 (Idaho).
- Patrick Q. Mason holds the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., and is author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (2011). Mason is a leading expert on anti-Mormonism. Contact through the university’s school of religion at 909-621-8085 or email email@example.com.
- U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican, represents California’s 25th District and is an LDS church member. Contact 202-225-1956 (Washington, D.C.) or 661-274-9688 (California).
- U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, a Republican, represents Idaho’s 2nd District and is a member of the LDS church. Contact 202-225-5531 (Washington, D.C.) or 208-334-1953 (Idaho).